DSWD-12 taps money issuer for SAP

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 30 July) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 has tapped the services of a financial technology firm to fast-track the ongoing distribution of cash assistance to waitlisted beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 director, said Thursday they have started releasing the P5,000 subsidy through the electronic payment conduits of Starpay, an electronic money issuer licensed and regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Residents in Region 12 affected by the COVID-19 crisis get the cash assistance under the government’s Social Amelioration Program. (Photo from the Facebook page of DSWD-12)

He said the electronic disbursement of the cash aid is being done through Western Union, Cebuana and M Lhuillier.

“This is to fast-track the releases to the qualified beneficiaries, especially those in geographically-isolated and disadvantaged areas,” he told reporters.

Espejo said the move was supported by local government units (LGU) in the region and other stakeholders.

Based on data released by the agency’s protective services division as of July 27, a total of 47,492 waitlisted SAP beneficiaries in the region have yet to receive the cash assistance.

Bonifacio Selma, DSWD-12 assistant director, said some 24,880 beneficiaries with registered and verified mobile numbers should expect to receive notifications from any of the three payout centers regarding the release of their subsidies.

He said the LGUs, through the social welfare offices and barangays, will post the names of the recipients and the financial services where they can claim the assistance.

DSWD-12 had identified a total 144,364 family heads as qualified for the supplemental distribution of the subsidy, which was intended for households severely affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 pandemic.

The beneficiary list was based on recommendations submitted by the LGUs and verified by the agency.

Espejo said the distribution of the SAP assistance to the remaining waitlisted beneficiaries is ongoing region-wide.

“With the help of our partners, we hope to finish the payouts as soon as possible,” Espejo added. (MindaNews)